The United States and China may resume trade negotiations in “early October,” according to a statement released by China’s Commerce Ministry, according to CNN Business. Chinese Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He has spoken with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the phone about the talks. Both sides said they plan to continue talking ahead of the in-person meeting.
The announcement marks the first sign that talks are getting back on track after both governments raised tariffs last month, the Washington Post reports.
President Trump says Chinese manufacturing will “crumble” if the country doesn’t agree to the U.S. trade terms, but a closely watched index of American manufacturing activity fell to 49.1 from 51.2, signaling a contraction in United States factory activity for the first time since 2016, according to The New York Times.
Trump said his trade war has hurt the stock market, but he had to take China to task, Bloomberg reported. “Let me tell you, if I wanted to do nothing with China, our stock market, our stock market would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now but somebody had to do this,” the president told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
Trump was also ambivalent about reaching a trade deal. “We’ll see what happens, if they want to make a deal, they’ll make a deal, if they don’t want to make a deal, that’s fine,” he said.